My London: Sean Johnston, DJ & Producer

DJ and producer Sean Johnston will be seeing 2014 in with style and secret disco punch at the intimate Kings Cross haunt Star of Kings this New Year’s Eve. In the lead up to the gig he chats to The London Word about eccentric Londoners, his favourite London borough and parties past and present…

My favourite area of London is, without doubt, the London Borough of Hackney. I’ve lived and worked here since the early ‘90s. I love the fact that it’s constantly in flux. I love the diversity, and the fact that it still has a maverick spirit, which has been stamped out in many inner city locations.

My most vivid London memories are from the early acid house years. Mutoid Waste Company warehouse parties at Battlebridge Road, The Guy Fawkes Sunrise Rave in Greenwich, spontaneous gatherings of rave youth on Clapham Common, sweaty nights at the Fitness Centre. I had just moved to London and it felt like being in the epicentre of something colossal.

I feel most creative in Hackney. Just for the sense that things are changing and that anything could happen.

My perfect London day out would involve breakfast at the Rivington, a bowl around the Shoreditch clothes shops like Start, Anthem and Present, a visit to the Tate Modern, followed by buying some quality beers from Noble Fine Liquor in Broadway Market.

I have been fortunate enough to travel all over Europe to DJ many times in recent years, so my ideal night in London would be to eat with my family and to watch a movie at home.

Londoners make London unique; the people that have made this amazing city their home. You just don’t meet the characters anywhere else like you do here. Crazy Turkish 24-7 owners that insist that you are Johnny Depp. Black-cab drivers that tell you amazing historical facts about what used to go on in your manor. The trannies you play pool with in an illegal drinker in Old Compton Street. Bumping into Gilbert and George on Kingsland Road. The loons that you used to drink with in the Royal Oak at 7am on a Sunday morning. Finding out that the old boy you partnered with randomly at a climbing wall was, in fact, one of the fiercest mountaineers of his generation. That’s what makes London unique.

I enjoy autumn most in London, for sure. You can’t beat marching across Haggerston Park in the midst of a Phantom Raspberry Blower style pea souper!

I’ve heard a rumour that there is a secret network of tunnels under the streets. Apparently you can go down a hatch in Bethnal Green Road and cycle all the way to Westminster!

Have a good haircut and a decent pair of shoes and don’t crap on your own doorstep!

I’ve just completed a remix for Heavenly Records act Out Cold and a track for the next Correspondent Records compilation. Now I’m working on a new Hardway Bros EP for Throne of Blood and looking forward to DJing with my partner in crime Andrew Weatherall as A Love From Outer Space again.’

Catch Sean Johnston (ALFOS, Hardway Bros) at Heavy Disco meets Eat The Beat at Star of Kings on New Year’s Eve. Other DJs playing include Balearic Mike, Ashley Beedle, Scottie Johnson and Stuart Patterson to name a few. Advance tickets £20 from Resident AdvisorRansom Note and Skiddle.

Check out the Heavy Disco meets Eat The Beat promo video here.

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